Half of the global population lives in cities today – and by 2050, the United Nations predicts three out of every four people will call an urban area home. Pair the growing global population’s shift to the cities with looming concerns like climate change, and it’s easy to see why HUD and our partners in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors are more focused on promoting sustainable, livable communities than ever before. In America and abroad, we need creativity and competition to develop and spread sustainable housing and urban development solutions for tomorrow’s social and economic challenges.
Nowhere has the call to spur innovation in the products, policies, and processes we use to promote inclusive, green, thriving communities been clearer than at the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York City. There, HUD and a host of partners announced Innovation 10 Thousand, or “I-10-K”, a CGI commitment to support a sustainable urban future by encouraging innovators to embrace creativity and a competitive spirit.
“I-10-K” unites HUD with the U.S. Department of State, American Planning Association, Context Partners, X PRIZE Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Un Techo Para Mi País, and Ashoka’s Changemakers. With the help of the Clinton Global Initiative, these partners will promote advances in housing and urban development in three ways: 1) A competition model for sourcing large-scale, multi-location sustainable housing solutions; 2) an in-country training and technical assistance program for innovators and their partners; and 3) an online community to further deepen collaboration and to continually engage new partners.
This isn’t about creating a few green developments, central though they may be to our sustainable future. It’s about finding top-to-bottom, replicable techniques to promote livable, inclusive cities – techniques that can be standardized and popularized across the globe.